On depression

A Stone Boat (Faber & Faber 1994)
The Noonday Demon (Scribner 2002)

When we repress our anger, writes Susan Forward in her bestseller Toxic Parents, we will likely fall into depression. But not all cases of depression, the most common form of mental disorder, are the result of repressed anger. It may originate from existential causes: the infinite gamut of insoluble problems in life. However, in cases of repressed parental abuse cathartic anger may be a balsam for its cure. Colin Ross, who coined the term trauma model of mental disorders, believes that ‘anger is the most powerful anti-depressant in the market’. Andrew Solomon takes the opposite stance: he idealised the parent and repressed his anger, as I’ll try to show in this essay-review of his books.

Andrew Solomon✡

Solomon is a very peculiar writer, the son of a millionaire of Forest Laboratories: a company that manufactures psychiatric drugs. That we are immersed in the matrix of Big Pharma is evident in the compliments that The Noonday Demon has received, especially the compliments of those who have suffered from depression. I find this so scandalous that I must write this essay, especially because The Noonday Demon was in the New York Times bestseller list. The pseudoscientific propaganda that inundates The Noonday Demon through its 700 pages (I read the Spanish translation seventeen years ago) is such that I could have written a much longer essay-review.

The Noonday Demon received the National Book Award in 2001. Solomon has thus contributed to what Thomas Szasz calls the pharmacratic status quo. Although Solomon mentions Szasz and Elliot Valenstein, he omits to say that they and many other mental health professionals disagree with the biological theories that Solomon presents as fact. It is not even apparent that Solomon has read the dissident scholars. For example, in the 860 references that he boasts in The Noonday Demon he does not mention a single reference of my critical bibliography on psychiatry that I recommend (see below).
 

An American pandemic?

According to Solomon’s bestseller, almost twenty millions Americans suffer from depression. Solomon confesses in his book how he suffered from this malaise since his mother died, and he recounts the therapeutic odyssey he found in a psychiatric profession that he considers benign.

The ‘noonday demons’ was a religious metaphor used since the Low Middle Ages to describe what since the Renaissance would be called ‘melancholy’, and in our times ‘depression’. Through the centuries, those who have been in panic when these demons attack have been prone to experiment with all sorts of quack remedies. Solomon himself tried a magical ritual in Africa; standard psychiatric medication, and New Age alternative remedies. He even experimented with alcohol, cocaine and opium, as he confesses in his book.

Tom Szasz, perhaps the most famous psychiatrist in the United States, proposes to abolish involuntary psychiatry. Szasz doesn’t propose to ban the prescription of drugs for adults, always provided that the professional maintains well informed his client about the risks (something they rarely do). A great deal of the economic power of psychiatry rests on this not so obscure side of the profession, the voluntary side: something that blinds people like Solomon to see that the profession has a darker side.

If an individual wants to take drugs, whether tranquilizers, stimulants, anti-anxiety pills or even illegal drugs, he should be free to do it according to Szasz. Solomon goes beyond this and mentions cases in which people in panic solicited electroshock. Although shock treatment is sometimes voluntary, I don’t believe it should be legal. Solomon himself cites the case of a young woman who told him that after a shock session she forgot everything she had learned in law school. Solomon also cites the grotesque testimony of an individual that requested psychosurgery to eliminate his persistent depression, and the neuropsychiatrists performed it! (a pointless surgery, of course, because the problem was in his mind’s software, not in the brain’s hardware).

Those procedures affected the faculties of these voluntary patients, the remedy resulting worse than the illness, because psychiatry is an iatrogenic profession. If we keep in mind Colin Ross’ words about ‘anger, the best antidepressant in the market’, instead of these harmful treatments I would recommend a depressed patient to write a long letter to the parent who caused the crisis (I myself did it, as we shall see). This is what Sue Forward recommends in Toxic Parents. Alternatively, I would recommend talking with survivors of parental abuse. Forward describes her group therapies for neurotics; Ross describes the same for people in psychotic crises. In the worst of possible cases, say schizophrenia, I would recommend a Soteria-like house, although there are very few of them because the medical profession monopolises treatments.

What neither Solomon nor the orthodox psychiatrists understand is that, by medically treating those who have been abused at home, they promote a status quo that ought to change. Those who want a better society do not propose prohibiting the drugs that are voluntarily consumed. We want to eliminate the conditions that cause mental stress and disorders. However, we do point out that with the medical model of mental disorders we are heading toward the dystopia described by Aldous Huxley. In October of 1949, when Nineteen Eighty Four was published, Huxley wrote to Orwell a letter telling him that the totalitarian state would not control people with a boot on the face as in 1984 but through much more subtle forms of manipulation: the voluntary drugging in the
 

Brave new world

The efficacy of antidepressants, that started to be manufactured a few years after Huxley sent his letter to Orwell, has been enormously exaggerated by the pharmaceutical companies. Solomon ignores that, just like homeopathic meds, the antidepressant that his father distributes basically functions like a placebo: the power of suggestion and autosuggestion. Studies show that a considerable percentage of the people that are told that a marvellous antidepressant has just been discovered are cured of their depression although they were given sugar pills. This effect is called ‘placebo’ in the medical profession. The companies like the one that made Solomon’s father a rich man also minimise the side-effects of the antidepressants.

In a market society it is very difficult to find the study of an independent researcher about the effects of antidepressants. The few existent studies, say those by Peter Breggin and Joseph Glenmullen, have not been rebutted either by the companies that make the drugs, or by the psychiatrists who prescribe them. Breggin, a graduate Harvard psychiatrist, recommends stopping taking any sort of psychiatric meds. It’s irritating that my dust jacket has Solomon as ‘profoundly human’ when Solomon advises people suffering from depression not to stop taking drugs. He even confesses that he got mad with his aunt’s gerontologist because the good doctor advised her to stop taking Celexa (citalopram): the very drug that Solomon’s dad distributes.

As I said, Solomon writes about psychiatric theories as fact. Curiously, at the same time he recommends alternative treatments. Lots of them! Just as the race of birds in Alice in Wonderland, in Solomon’s book all sorts of therapies, allopathic, homeopathic and alternative, win the first price in the treatment of depression. In Solomon’s wonderland absolutely everything is recommended, from the most diverse forms of popular quackery to lobotomy. Since I only have the Spanish translation of The Noonday Demon I cannot quote Solomon verbatim in English (libraries in Mexico are very poor in their English section). But he certainly says that dozens of treatments, from Saint-John’s-wort to psychosurgery, are reasonably promising. If such quackery apparently gets results, it’s all due to the placebo effect.

Solomon’s book is inundated with incredible treatments, personal testimonies from his depressed acquaintances, and with the theories of biological psychiatry. For example, Solomon writes that some people who abuse stimulants also suffer from depression in the same family. To him, this indicates that there’s a ‘genetic predisposition’ for the consumption of cocaine and other stimulants.

It doesn’t occur to Solomon that there can be no genes responsible for addictions for the simple reason that the genes of our species are older than the making of these chemicals. For instance, a putative gene that moves the alcoholic individual to drink cannot exist because alcohol is chronologically more recent than the genotype of the alcoholic individual, and there have been no substantive changes in our species since the caveman. Similarly, Solomon’s claim that the type of drugs that his dad makes represents real medicine is unsupportable. For example, he recognises that cocaine heals depression, but he disapproves of it because it’s illegal. On the next page Solomon recognises that Xanax pills (alprazolam), a benzodiazepine, caused him unpleasant symptoms. Xanax is the anxiety killer that Solomon used to take: the very drug that made George Bush Sr. vomit in Japan during his presidency. According to Solomon, with this drug he could crash into a heavy sleep plagued with dreams. However, he does recommend it because it’s legal.

Solomon never reveals in his book that Ritalin (methylphenidate) can be moral and illegal in the adult who takes it without prescription, but that it can also be immoral and legal if it is administered to a child to control him at school. Instead, he reasons like the good boy of the establishment: the legality of his dad’s company makes those drugs, by definition, moral; and the illegality of cocaine and ecstasy makes them immoral. Solomon talks about the permanent damage in the brain’s dopaminergic systems caused by cocaine. But he omits to say that Zyprexa (olanzapine), the neuroleptic that the psychiatrist prescribed him, causes exactly the same damage. Similarly, Solomon talks about the withdrawal symptoms that cocaine causes, but he does not dissuade his readers from taking neuroleptics although akathisia is pretty similar to such symptoms. Curiously, Solomon says he would accept taking cocaine or ecstasy to cure his depression, but that the withdrawal symptoms made him have second thoughts. In another part of his book Solomon recognises that while alprazolam killed his anxiety during the depressive attacks, it converted him into an addict. In a magazine article Solomon confessed he used to take about twelve pills per day, but when he’s in another mood he states that the aetiology of his depression is purely existential.

The cocktail of psychiatric drugs that Solomon has taken for years includes Zoloft (sertraline), Xanax (alprazolam), Paxil (paroxetine), Navane (thiothixene), Valium (diazepam), BuSpar (buspirone), Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Zyprexa (olanzapine). Even though this suggests that Solomon believes in the medical model of mental disorders, he often talks of souls in pain. He writes that he ‘discovered something that should be called the soul’. Other times he appears as the spokesman of psychiatric biologicism. His book is a contradictory compendium of both explicit apologetics of biopsychiatry and soft criticism of biopsychiatry; of existential testimonies of depressed people, and the biological myths of the profession. He advertises Prozac (fluoxetine) and on another page he recognises that his mother complained about its side-effects. (If Prozac and the antidepressants work as placebos, the so-called ‘side-effects’ are in fact the primary effects, the only effects of the drug; and the antidepressant effect would be caused by the power of suggestion.) Solomon also presents a mixture of both: existential and biological problems as the cause of melancholy. He sensibly concedes that extreme poverty and homelessness may cause ‘depression’, but he unreasonably recommends treating the homeless with psychiatric drugs. He adds the remarkable statement that more than in any other case, the homeless’ resistance to take drugs is a symptom of a ‘disease’. Solomon quotes the scientists or pseudo-scientists who say that the cause of the addictions is ‘in the brain’, when common sense contradicts this bio-reductionist approach. Asian people for example would disagree that their gambling is in their defective brains. The same could be said of those Westerners who are addicted to shopping in a consumer-oriented society: the problem is in the culture, not in their brains.

In his book Solomon contradicts himself in a thousand ways. As a master of doublethink, he accepts both the medical model of mental disorders, and the trauma model of mental disorders when both are mutually exclusive. In his chapter about suicide he repeats the slogans of the psychiatrist, for example when he says that we got to understand that suicidal ideation is the result of mental illness, and that mental illnesses are treatable. He recommends electroshock. Not even the horrendous case-stories that he mentions awakened Solomon’s compassion. He didn’t condemn the psychiatric institutions that maintain them alive against their will. But when he writes about the suicide of his mother, Solomon turns suddenly into a compassionate son, and suicide is nothing else than an act of a tormented soul. However, Solomon didn’t condemn the nets he saw in Norristown Hospital that maintained alive patients like mosquitoes in cobwebs to prevent that they killed themselves. They were strangers to him and he accepts involuntary therapies applied to them. But double-thinker Solomon confesses that nothing causes him more horror than the thought that he would be prevented from committing suicide.
 

The ‘unacknowledged revenge’ on mother

Throughout my reading of Solomon’s book the question came to my mind: How is it that someone like me, who writes in a state of virtual poverty in the Third World, never fell in depressions while Solomon, the American junior who spent a fortune in treatments didn’t only suffer from the common blues, but of horrible depressions? Could it be that Solomon has not listened to what Stefan Zweig, the biographer of tormented souls, called the daimon?

Let me explain myself. Solomon writes about some children whose parents took to the psychiatrist’s office for anger therapy. Solomon completely omits to say that this was probably due to child abuse at home. Once the legit anger is crushed in the therapeutic sessions, the shrinks acknowledge that the children fell into a melancholic state (remember Ross’ equation about anger and depression being inversely proportional to each other). Those children are, again, strangers to Solomon and he doesn’t pity them. But in another part of his book Solomon recognises that his depression originated after his mother died. And it was precisely a conflict with his mother, who hated Solomon’s sexuality, what had moved him to write another book: A Stone Boat.

I must confess that what moved me to write this essay-review is my literary project that I have written in Spanish and that I would love to see published in English. Alas, the subject is such a taboo that more than twenty publishing houses in Spain and Mexico have rejected it. There’s an almost symmetrical antithesis between the first of my books, Letter to Mom Medusa and A Stone Boat. Also, there’s an almost symmetrical antithesis between my second book How to Murder Your Child’s Soul and The Noonday Demon.

A Stone Boat is an autobiographical novel in which Solomon eludes discharging the rage he feels toward his mother. In The Noonday Demon Solomon mentions A Stone Boat quite a few times as a description of real events of his life, not as a fictional novel. Unlike The Noonday Demon I do have an English copy of it and can, at last, quote this homosexual writer. Solomon wrote:

I can remember days… that this secret [his sexual preferences] was my unacknowledged revenge on her. I would lie in the silence of my room and imagine the pain I would later cause my mother.

Although on the next page he writes: ‘I wanted somehow to take the unspeakable vengeance’, in the balance A Stone Boat is a politically-correct confessional novel: Solomon is afraid of speaking out the whole truth of his sentiments. The plot starts when the main character, Solomon’s alter ego, arrived in Paris to confront his mother because of her attitude toward his male lover.

I set off to Paris in anger, determined for the first time to act upon anger… I was, at best, trying to see my life as separate from my mother’s.

But he couldn’t. Upon arriving he discovered that his mother had cancer.

Perhaps I was angrier that week than I remember, but I think in fact that when I first saw that my mother might be sick, my anger got put away somewhere, and my mother became as glorious to me as she had been in my childhood.

Hence, writes Solomon, ‘through I had gone to France to sever ties’, the beatific vision continued until she died. In the last chapter of A Stone Boat Solomon confesses:

I forgive my mother as though I were spokesman for the very gates of heaven.

Solomon ignores that unilateral forgiveness is a psychological impossibility. The grace of forgiveness only reaches us when the offender recognises her fault. Neither in real life nor in the novel did his mother repent. And Solomon forfeited to confront her directly (the opposite of what another Jew, Kafka, did in Letter to His Father). Moreover, Solomon recounts that in the funeral he saw his mother ‘like an angel’ and, by seeing her in this way, he delivered himself into the open arms of the goddess of Melancholy.

The literary genre that I would like to inaugurate would not only oppose the biologicism that is breathed throughout The Noonday Demon, but the elegant prose of A Stone Boat: a poetic novel that has been described as a reach toward Proust. Vindictive autobiography doesn’t take care of the literary form at all: it’s a barbarous genre that breaks the millenarian taboo of honouring the parent. Without scruples, repressions and with the real names, vindictive autobiography throws in the parent’s face what s/he did to us. Conversely, The Noonday Demon is a book that approaches depression from every possible viewpoint, an atlas of the world of depression as the subtitle says. But what we need is more profundity, not amplitude. This is true not only of The Noonday Demon, but of many other quack books on the subject. The cause of the mental disorders with no known biological marker is in the psyche’s nucleus, not on a surface that a scholarly ‘atlas’ may explore.

In his autobiographical novel, my antipode Solomon wrote:

It was terrible how much I loved my mother. It was the most terrible thing in the world.

This was reinforced by the family dynamics:

My father expected everyone to understand at once that my mother was more important than everyone else [and Solomon] was as much in the habit of believing it as he was. [To the extent that Solomon] thought that if she died I would also have to die.

Solomon’s girlfriend told him: ‘Enough is enough; if you spend every minute with her, you’ll go crazy’. He further writes that ‘to be in the room’ with his mother ‘was like being splattered with blood’. He loved her despite that ‘in the first weeks of her illness, my mother was to reveal more clearly her terrible brutality: She could be harsh, and she was demanding, and she could be selfish’. The metaphor of a stone boat came from his girlfriend referring to Solomon’s idealisation of a perfect family: a myth that, according to her, would sink in the sea.

But she was wrong. Solomon didn’t sink the stony idea in a sea of truth. He continued to idealise his mom as it is surmised from the fact that, after he published A Stone Boat, Solomon embarked on a huge enterprise: the writing of a treatise to repress the aetiology of his depression even further, The Noonday Demon. In this later work, his magnum opus, Solomon tells us that the old Freudian precept of blaming the mother has been discarded.

Solomon is wrong in all counts. Blaming the mother is neither a Freudian principle (it’s Frieda Fromm-Reichmann’s), nor has it been discarded (cf. the work of Alice Miller), and Solomon himself has to get his ass even with his mother’s if he is to win the battle against depression. That’s Sue Forward’s advice, who recommends the depressed adult to read a vindictive letter to the late parent in front of the grave to achieve inner peace. As a researcher, I have been in anger therapies in the Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma in Dallas. The level of overt fury and hate toward the invoked perpetrators shocked me. The emotions I witnessed there were not creatures of the surface but the demons of the Old World that Solomon and his depressing fans don’t dare to invoke.
 

The daimon

Those who fall in depression are like extinct volcanoes that have long passed by the tectonic plates’ hot spot beneath them. Solomon has not done a good introspection: he’s an extinct volcano. Only thus can we understand when he writes that one of the most terrible aspects of depression, the anxiety and the panic attacks, is that volition is absent: that those sentiments simply ‘occur’. Obviously Solomon has no idea of the demonic magma that inhabits beneath him and that desperately needs a way out. The bestselling author on depression doesn’t know what depression is: psychic congestion or a cooled crag that, blocking the escape valve, impedes the deliverance of a monster. Had Solomon choose the genre of the eruptive epistle instead of the toned down novel or a scholarly treatise, he could have confronted the inner daimon that haunts him and vomit the hell out of it.

There’s a passage in The Noonday Demon that suggests this interpretation. Solomon writes that he once believed that his sexuality was responsible for the suffering of his mother: suffering she endured until she died. The mother hated Solomon’s homosexuality, and that hatred was a poison that started to impregnate Solomon’s mind. I’m not inventing this: I’m rephrasing what Solomon wrote from the translated copy of his Noonday that I have access to. Solomon even writes that he cannot separate his mother’s homophobia from his own homophobia to the point of exposing himself to the HIV virus. And he further confesses that this exposure was a way of converting an inner self-hatred into a physical reality. In A Stone Boat he writes that his mother told him: ‘No child was ever loved more than you’, and in the following pages he adds: ‘A minute later I thought of killing her’ to end the mother’s agony. Mom’s cruellest tirade had been telling him she would eat poisonous maggots and die, and that only then would Solomon regret having been a naughty child.

Solomon’s confessions can help us to understand his depression in a way that Solomon can’t. As he writes in The Noonday Demon, which unlike A Stone Boat is not a novel, his mother committed suicide to stop the pain of her ovary cancer. On June 19, 1991 in front of Solomon his beloved mother swallowed red pills of Seconal (secobarbital: a barbiturate). He and the rest of his family assisted the suicide. Solomon confesses us that his mother’s suicide was the cataclysm of his life; that it’s buried in his guts like a sharp knife—these are his own metaphors—and that it hurts every time he moves. In some of the most emotional passages Solomon tells us that his mother took pill after pill, the ‘poisonous maggots’ she had threatened would make him feel really bad. Solomon even writes that by imitating her he later learned to take handfuls of anti-depressants, ‘pill after pill’…

The psychic radiography of Solomon starts taking shape. However, like the proverbial prodigal son that represses in his mind the parent’s behaviour, Solomon tells us that it is nonsense that teenagers reproach their parents when they have done everything for them. His non-reproached resentment metamorphosed into acute melancholy: just what happened to the children whose shrinks eliminated their anger. But it is the prohibition of touching the mother what makes this Œdipus write that we should not deceive ourselves; that we don’t know the cause of depression and that we don’t know either how it came about in human evolution.

That, my dear readers, is biological psychiatry: the art of blaming the body for our cowardice to confront mom.

 
Œdipus’ struggles with the daimon

In his desperate attempts to escape the harassment of his inner daimon, Solomon found the exit door by a fluke. In The Noonday Demon he paraphrases the psychoanalysts who have written insightful passages about melancholy. For example, Solomon writes that, in order not to castigate the beloved person, the melancholic individual re-directs the anger and the ambivalence he feels for the loved one onto the patient himself. And following Sigmund Freud and his disciple Karl Abraham he self-analysed himself well enough when he wrote that during his first crisis, after his mother’s death, he incorporated her into his writing. Unfortunately, he also writes that he lamented the pain he caused to her, and this false sense of guilt persisted. He further writes that her death prevented that his relationship with his mother had a healthy closure. In A Stone Boat he had written: ‘Our flashes of intense hatred had never really undermined our adoration of each other’.

Solomon never crossed through the very door that he opened. In contrast to John Modrow, the valiant memorialist who published a touching autobiography about his maddening parents, Solomon’s struggles with the daimon of honouring the parent never ended. When he published A Stone Boat the daimon of guilt assaulted him once more. In The Noonday Demon he writes that when he published the novel it made him feel like a defiant son, and that the guilt feelings began to consume him. He even writes about an internalised love-object, his mother, and about internalised sadism: what Solomon did to himself. Solomon wasn’t only masochist to defend the idealised image of his mother (cf. what Ross says about ‘the locus of control shift’ in his book The Trauma Model). He broke pictures of himself hanging in his home, and he left the hammer in the middle of the broken crystals.

Once he even attacked viciously a friend to the point of breaking his jaw and nose. The man was hospitalised and in The Noonday Demon, where we wouldn’t expect fiction or literary embellishments as in the novel, Solomon confesses to us that he will never forget the relief he felt with each of his vicious punches. He found himself even strangling his friend and says that could have killed him. However, Solomon omits to say if he was arrested or if dad’s attorneys kept him out of jail. He does confess, however, that he hasn’t repented from what he did. He justifies his actions and he wrote that otherwise he would have become mad. And he adds that part of the sensation of fear and impotence he suffered in those times was alleviated by those savage acts. And still further he adds the illuminating confession that to deny the curative power of violence would be a terrible mistake, and that the night of the fighting he arrived at home covered with blood with a sensation of horror and euphoria at the same time.

Miraculously, that night he felt completely released from his daimon! But was the struggle with it over? Nope!: this acting out was nothing else than the displaced fury he felt toward his mother.

Alice Miller has taught us that displaced rage is infinite. It never ends. One is left to wonder what would the hospitalised friend say of Solomon’s fans, who have described him as ‘compassionate and humane’. On the next page of Solomon’s fight he gives us the key to enter his mind. Solomon wrote that he realised that depression could manifest itself in the form of rage.

This cracks the daimon’s cipher. Those who fall in depression and go to the shrink office to pop up a bottle and take a pill don’t know what’s happening in their heads! What these people actually feel is rage and fury toward the perps. But God forbid: we cannot touch them. Parents are to be honoured. A Miller reader would argue that only when our selves get integrated about how and when we were abused, we won’t displace our rage on innocent friends. Solomon also confesses to us that he displaced the anger he felt on his lover: ‘I hated Bernard and I hated my father. This made it easier to love my mother’. This is exactly what Silvano Arieti said in Interpretation of Schizophrenia about one of his patients who ‘protected the images of his parents but at the expense of having an unbearable self-image’. The dots start to be connected. Solomon imagined that he ‘would mutilate his [Bernard’s] cat’. But that was not enough:

I wrote him a letter carefully designed to make him fall in love with me, hopelessly in love, so that I could reject him brutally. I would castrate him with a straight razor. [And also fantasised] putting rat poison in his coffee, but I couldn’t remember why.

Of course he couldn’t: he was still displacing his anger onto a scapegoat (in The Noonday Demon he ratifies the actual existence of the person he called Bernard). Solomon was looking for a safer object to transfer his unconscious affects toward his mother, a mother about whom he wrote: ‘You don’t love me. You are obsessed with me, and you keep trying to drag me down into your illness’. Since displaced anger is infinite, in The Noonday Demon Solomon confesses that, in desperation, he went to Senegal looking for an exorcism. The persistent daimon had to be expelled at all costs, and he tried the ritual called ndeup. But witchcraft didn’t work. The powerful spell that his witch-mother had cast unto him wasn’t broken in black Africa.

After his Senegal experience Solomon continued to look for the cause of depression in psychiatry’s blame-the-body theories, and he also tried many pop remedies. It’s fascinating to see that quite a few of his quack remedies are identical to what Robert Burton prescribed in his famous 1621 treatise on melancholy. Both writers, the 17th-century Burton and the 21st century Solomon, recommend Saint-John’s-wort! And parallel to these Old Age and New Age quackery, Solomon writes a ‘scientific’ chapter on evolutionary biology to answer how could it be possible that natural selection allowed depression.

If we take into account that depression is a crack in our attachment systems due to unprocessed abuse, the above is a pretty stupid question. While I only have minor quibbles with Solomon’s stupidities, when he mentions involuntary psychiatry he sides the parents and the professionals against the patients. The pages that infuriated me the most are the ones in which Solomon sides the parents who label their sane children as mentally ill to control them through psychiatric drugs, especially at school.

It is understandable, therefore, that Solomon didn’t dedicate The Noonday Demon to the child victim of involuntary psychiatry, what I do with my texts. He dedicated it to his millionaire father who financed his investigation and whose income depends on the selling of those drugs for social control.

 

Recommended readings:

Criticism of language is the most radical of all criticisms. The following is the first book of my list because, if in our vocabulary we don’t root out the Newspeak of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists, it will be impossible to understand the family, social, economic and existential problems that we all have:

(1) Thomas Szasz: Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry (NY: Syracuse University Press, 1990).
 

On the importance of vindictive autobiography:

(2) John Modrow: How To Become A Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry (New York: Writers Club Press, 2003).

(3) Susan Forward: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (2002 by Bantam, first published in 1989).
 

On psychoanalysis and all sorts of psychotherapies:

(4) Jeffrey Masson: Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing (Common Courage Press, 1988).

(5) —————–: Final analysis: The Making And Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst (London: HarperCollins, 1991).
 

On the pseudoscientific nature of biological psychiatry:

(6) Colin Ross and Alvin Pam (eds.): Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry: Blaming the Body (NY: Wiley & Sons, 1995).

(7) Elliot Valenstein: Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs And Mental Health (NY: The Free Press, 1998).

(8) Peter Breggin: Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the “New Psychiatry” (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1994).

(9) Robert Whitaker: Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill (Cambridge: Perseus, 2001).
 

Note of 2020:

Anyone who wants updated information can watch Robert Whitaker’s YouTube videos, which includes videos from this year (not to be confused with white nationalist Robert W. Whitaker who died in 2017).

My books on the subject appear on the sidebar: Letter to mom Medusa and Day of Wrath.

Weirwood tree

I have said that the greatest of the taboos is not the racial question, something that only became taboo after the Second World War; not even the Jewish question, which was also discussed before WW2, even in the press. The biggest taboo is to talk about what destructive parents have done.

Stefan Molyneux has just spoken about his father’s recent death. He almost cried as his father not only didn’t defend him against the Jewish mother who abused Stefan as a child, but he never apologised, as an adult, for not having rescued him.

Why, among the alt-lite or the alt-right folk, does someone with kike blood is the one to speak out? Why haven’t white advocates who are pure Aryans said anything in online forums? I already quoted these words of mine last month but it’s worth reciting: ‘I am not asking my audience to read Miller. But my writings translate, and expand considerably, her findings for an Aryan audience. It is a very important subject for the simple reason that mental health matters, and racialists who have had mental issues are generally clueless about what caused them’.

Indeed: it is necessary to present the trauma model of mental disorders without having to read texts by an ethnic Jew like Alice Miller or watch videos by another ethnic Jew like Molyneux. That is why last month I also published the translation of the first book of my series, although it is in the sixth book where I touch on the subject of what it feels like when a father dies without having made amends with his victim.

I also have a YouTube channel where the previous decade I spoke out about the tragedy in my family: something much more destructive than what Moly has recounted. But I had to make it private because people began to misuse those confessions.

When I see white advocates blaming liberalism for the state of the West these days, I can’t help but think that their early traumas are unresolved, which involves judging not only their parents but their parents’ religion. In other words, not seeing that Christianity is behind the fallen state of the West and not seeing the behaviour of our parents are two sides of the same coin.

I freed myself because, after chasing the love of his wife, my father threw me from the high tower and I became disabled like Bran (so to speak). I had no choice but to get entangled in the tree of the past, for decades, to understand why that had happened. In no way have white nationalists, or human beings in general, gone through such a process of insight. But the serious thing is that they don’t even seem interested in listening to what the tree’s whispering leaves want to tell them, despite the fact that some of them still suffer from late symptoms of early traumas. The greatest of taboos cannot be broken because it hurts so much to take a retrospective dive to the core of our being: a being that our parents precisely formed. As Solzhenitsyn put it:

Bless you, prison!…

In prison, both in solitary confinement and outside solitary too, a human being confronts his grief face to face. This grief is a mountain, but he has to find space inside himself for it, to familiarise himself with it, to digest it…

This is the highest form of moral effort, which has always ennobled every human being. A duel with years and with walls constitutes moral work and a path upward… if you can climb it.

Very important subject

I am perfectly aware that virtually all people of white nationalism, or even the alt-lite, are unaware of the psychic havoc caused by abusive parents. The exception, as I have said more than once, is Stefan Molyneux as we saw not long ago in his review of Joker.

What bothers me is that Molyneux’s mother is Jewish, and one would expect a non-Jew of the alt-lite or white nationalism to venture into a subject that I consider fundamental: the actual aetiology of mental illness (as opposed to the psychiatric lies that we hear in the universities).

If the Aryan world shakes off all Jewish influence, beginning of course with a rejection of Christianity and its secular offshoots, over time it will ‘translate’, into Aryan language, the most relevant findings of Jews on the trauma model of mental disorders. In the introduction to my work for a racialist audience I recently wrote for this site:

For now, suffice it to say that Alice Miller continued to mention Hitler under the influence of the official narrative in almost all of her texts, so I currently do not recommend any of her books. It is not that I have repudiated Miller’s findings: a Jewess who, although she suffered as a child in the Warsaw Ghetto, after changing her Jewish surname she never wanted to return to the shelter of her mother’s religion. But I must say that Miller’s psycho-biographical analysis of Hitler is based on the great lie of our times. The Swiss psychologist never considered such elemental issues as the fact that the Holocaust of millions of Ukrainians, largely perpetrated by Bolshevik Jews, caused the legitimate fear, and eventual reaction, of the German state.

But that is a separate matter. The issue that concerns us in Whispering Leaves is very different: the Dantesque hell that some parents put their children in: something that Miller got right.

The issue of abusive parents is not only taboo in all societies, as almost no one connects the dots between mental disorders and poor childrearing. Like the racial issue or the WWII theme, as to mental health the values have been completely reversed.

For example, two years ago, in March 2018, a commenter told me: ‘I have since forgiven my father and every other person of note in my life needing forgiveness’. But forgiveness is a Christian doctrine, although many secular psychotherapists also subscribe such unhealthy way of treating their patients. I answered: ‘I cannot speak for you because I ignore the full story. Generally, for an adult child to forgive a parent who never recognised his fault is psychological suicide. Alice Miller said that a child can excuse his parents, if they in their turn are prepared to recognise and admit to their failures. But the demand for forgiveness that we often encounter can pose a danger for healing. These are some quotable quotes from her’:

• It is the resentment of the past, we are told, that is making us ill. In those by now familiar groups in which addicts and their relations go into therapy together, the following belief is invariably expressed. Only when you have forgiven your parents for everything they did to you can you get well. Even if both your parents were alcoholic, even if they mistreated, confused, exploited, beat, and totally overloaded you, you must forgive.

• The majority of therapists work under the influence of destructive interpretations culled from both Western and Oriental religions, which preach forgiveness to the once-mistreated child. Thereby, they create a new vicious circle for people who, from their earliest years, have been caught in the vicious circle of pedagogy. For forgiveness does not resolve latent hatred and self-hatred but rather covers them up in a very dangerous way.

• In my own therapy it was my experience that it was precisely the opposite of forgiveness —namely, rebellion against mistreatment suffered, the recognition and condemnation of my parents’ destructive opinions and actions, and the articulation of my own needs— that ultimately freed me from the past.

• By refusing to forgive, I give up all illusions. Why should I forgive, when no one is asking me to? I mean, my parents refuse to understand and to know what they did to me. So why should I go on trying to understand and forgive my parents and whatever happened in their childhood, with things like psychoanalysis and transactional analysis? What’s the use? Whom does it help? It doesn’t help my parents to see the truth. But it does prevent me from experiencing my feelings, the feelings that would give me access to the truth. But under the bell-jar of forgiveness, feelings cannot and may not blossom freely.

• I cannot conceive of a society in which children are not mistreated, but respected and lovingly cared for, that would develop an ideology of forgiveness for incomprehensible cruelties. This ideology is indivisible with the command “Thou shalt not be aware” [of the cruelty your parents inflicted to you] and with the repetition of that cruelty on the next generation.

I’ve added italics in the above quotations.

Again, I am not asking my audience to read Miller. But my writings translate, and expand considerably, her findings for an Aryan audience. It is a very important subject for the simple reason that mental health matters, and racialists who have had mental issues are generally clueless about what caused them.

Goethe quote

The common Westerner, and especially the common American, fancy themselves as free men when in reality they are enslaved in a matrix of lies. ‘None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free’, said Goethe.

Take for example the case of the root cause of mental disorders. Almost every Westerner believes in the pseudoscience of psychiatry, which blames the victim’s brain, when in fact the cause is the hells that parents put their children in (the subject of my series of books, of which Letter to mom Medusa is just the first).

Another matter: I have had fatty liver and when I was living in Spain a state doctor asked me if I missed my drinks, though in fact I’ve never been a heavy drinker. Only to this day did I find out, thanks to a YouTuber whose videos I recently linked on this site, that fatty liver is due to an excessive intake of sugars.

In economics we have the same situation. The common normie doesn’t even know the difference between money and currency. What better than to pass the microphone to Mike Maloney to explain this subject: ‘Money must be a store value. Gold and silver have maintained their value throughout the centuries and so they are the only currencies we call money. Fiat currency is not… has never been… and will never be… money. Treat this truth as gospel, and you’ll be ahead of 99.9 percent of the population’.

Silver and gold are running out because wise people (0.1%) are preparing for the coming debacle. Are you in that category?

Published in: on March 27, 2020 at 6:35 pm  Comments (2)  

Aborted prologue to the English edition *

My books deal with a subject that is the greatest taboo of all. Throughout human history no society has awakened to the fact that, in our species, some parents drive their children mad. Demonstrating this requires not only the creation of a new literary genre, but that dense autobiographies such as this one multiply in posterity.

That said, I must confess that I didn’t fully understand what had happened in my family until, at the end of 2008, I finished Hojas Susurrantes and in my researches I changed the subject radically: from child abuse to mass migration of Muslims into Europe. It was only in the following years when, after discovering racialist intellectuals on the internet, I located the tragedy of my family from a new paradigm. The best way to crack an annoying cipher is to abandon it for a good season and re-approach it from a broader meta-perspective on what is happening in the world.

My fundamental discrepancy with the internet movement known as ‘white nationalism’ is the diagnosis of the darkest hour in the West. White nationalists blame the Jewish quarter of white decline. I blame the Aryans themselves who let Jewry appropriate their media and a good part of the academic and financial sectors of the West, especially in the United States.

The tragedy in my family began when, during my adolescence, my mother went crazy and began to think and say crazy things about me. But that was not what destroyed the teenager I was. What destroyed him was that, over time, my father began to believe those slanders to the point of traumatising me in the most heartbreaking way you can imagine. Over the years, my parents would do the same to my sister, who now rests in peace.

Similarly, white people began to believe the lies of the New Testament two millennia ago, a process that culminated in the destruction of the classical world and, even after the Middle Ages, in an inverse narrative about who were the martyrs and the perpetrators. (See the literature that I mention in the Introduction after this foreword.) What I want to arrive at is a very simple concept. We should not blame St. Paul so much for having burned ‘pagan’ books in Ephesus but the imbecile whites who followed his example to the degree of destroying, from the 4th to the 6th century, the Greco-Roman world. If the traitor is worse than the subversive, in our times the Aryan who subscribes to the axiological system of the Bible—ethnocentrism for me but out-group altruism for thee—is worse than the Jew.

The following is the scheme of how some parents drive their children mad. On the one hand, there is the donor who provides a delusional system (your son is the devil); on the other, the receiver that over time subscribes to such a system. In my family the great crime was committed by my father, for having swallowed a slanderous vision of his eldest son. In this dynamic of folie à deux the role of the receiver is what counts most. Otherwise, the spouse who raves about her child would simply be considered the nutty of the family. Although having such a mother would harm the son’s morale, she wouldn’t destroy it by herself. It is the shared madness between wife and husband that makes the couple soul murderers.

In the same way, Jewry alone would not be able to destroy the West. The Aryans are responsible for believing the lies of the Jews, beginning with the ethics advocated by the New Testament (out-group altruism) and ending in the secular subversion we see in Hollywood and the American media.

Remember that I didn’t fully understand what happened in my family until I abandoned the subject for a few years, to reopen it after I became much more mature. I suggest that the nationalists read my texts to find, in them, a kind of microcosm of what has been happening, on another scale, in the West. Just as I didn’t understand myself until I turned to other interests, the nationalists would understand better if they could take an intellectual vacation. By reading my eleven books, they would learn that what happens in some families is worse than the Holocaust tall stories with which the Jews have demoralised us.

___________

(*) Today I declined to include, in my translation of the first book of Hojas Susurrantes, this text and preferred to put it here.

Joker, Molyneux and CC

Or:

An opportunity to present the trauma model
 

In recent years I don’t usually go to the movies. If there is something I say to my nephews when I see them it is that, in the media and the cinema, all the messages are bad. But yesterday I broke my habit after watching Stefan Molyneux’s video about the Joker movie.

I am glad that, as Molyneux confessed in one of his latest videos, eighty percent of his audience dropped last year. Is it because of his dishonesty about the JQ? Whatever caused the drop, from alt-lite to neo-Nazism, passing through white nationalism, Molyneux is the only notable personality in our underworld who has consistently talked about child abuse.

As the visitors of this blogsite know, I spent more decades investigating child abuse than the single decade I’ve dedicated to investigating the darkest hour in the West: whose report, The Fair Race, now appears as a free PDF. Since my oldest specialty is the subject of child abuse I must say that what Molyneux tells us in his one-hour video is, in general terms, correct.

The video revolves around the character Arthur Fleck / Joker, a mentally-ill man who dreams to become a stand-up comedian but so disregarded by a hellish and diverse Gotham City that decides to become a criminal. Curiously, the actor Joaquin Phoenix did not look to previous Joker actors for inspiration: he simply read some reports about political assassinations.

Hollywood movies usually lack psychological realism. For example, in the 1989 Jack Nicholson movie the Joker origin story simply falls into a vat of acid. The 2019 movie, on the other hand, gives its central character a plausible origin. So plausible that the film has been described as reminiscent of mass shootings in the US, and the incel community loved it. What’s more, some people from the establishment have expressed concern that Joker could inspire real-world violence.

In a moment of the first minutes of his video, Molyneux confesses that he has received horrific verbal abuse just for mentioning the naked facts of his own childhood, and that hostility toward those who were abused as children or teenagers is not uncommon if the adult victim dares to open his mouth.

At this point I would like to distinguish between dysfunctional parents and schizogenic parents, that is, parents who literally murder their children’s souls. While almost everyone I know comes from family dysfunction in one way or another, the category of schizogenic parents simply does not exist in our society. Since the 1950s the Big Pharma has ensured that civil society does not find out that there is a trauma model to understand the mental disorder that competes with its profitable medical model.

But what does all this have to do with the recent film Joker? As can be deduced from Molyneux’s video, and regardless of the sinister motivation of its Jewish creators, the film could be used, by us, to present the trauma model to the public. I was the one who started this Wikipedia article on the trauma model, an academic text that appeals to the left hemisphere of our brains. He who wants to delve deeper into this research line, and in a more literary way, can read my book Day of Wrath. On the other hand, he who prefers a personal testimony that presents the trauma model appealing to our right hemisphere could read John Modrow’s touching autobiography, How to Become a Schizophrenic.

Furthermore, he who is unwilling even to read any the above literature, but willing to educate himself on the subject having some fun, could see the films Shine (1996), Monster (2003), The Piano Teacher (2001) and even Artificial Intelligence by Spielberg, which can be used to grasp what proponents of the trauma model call ‘the problem of attachment to the perpetrator’.

Although it may seem incredible, sometimes fairy tales portray the destructive interaction of parents with their children. In almost all fairy tales, including modern fairy tales like Kubrick/Spielberg’s A.I. or Harry Potter, the parental figure is substituted so as not to touch it directly. In the case of the Potter series the abusers are Harry’s uncle and aunt. As to David, the child robot in A.I., obviously he had no biological parents but Monica functions like a substitute mother. But sometimes the storyteller sneaks parents directly into the story as the villains who abandon their children (for example in Tom Thumb).

But there are more serious forms of abuse than abandoning your child in the woods, what also happened to David. What Molyneux says about not forgiving schizogenic parents is true. I would go as far as to claim that to forgive such parents is the most toxic thing for the mental health of the victim. Mine is an opposed claim to what the establishment wants us to believe.

Why is the forgiveness that religionists and therapists preach so toxic? Because it is the abusive parents and society the ones who are currently murdering young souls. As the Armenian lawyer said in Spotlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015: ‘This city, these people [Boston people] are making the rest of us feel like we don’t belong. But they’re no better than us. Look at how they treat their children. Mark my words, Mr. Rezendes [another Armenian]: If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one’ (emphasis added).

For the victim, unilaterally forgiving the perpetrator or a society that never accepts its soul-murdering sins is simply a betrayal of oneself and the other adult victims, now suffering from mental stress and even disorders.

In addition to the first minutes of Molyneux’s video, using as a paradigm the Joker’s abusive interaction with his mother Penny in Gotham City, Molyneux advances ideas analogous to what I have known for a long time. Watch also the segments after minute 35 of his video: how female evil is still taboo in the film industry.

It is curious to note the chasm between those who, like Molyneux and I, have investigated child abuse due to our past, and those who did not have such destructive parenting.

Greg Johnson for example is a Batfan. In his recent review of Joker, which he writes under the penname of Trevor Lynch, Johnson prefers Heath Ledger’s Joker in the 2008 The Dark Knight than the Joker of the movie released this month. Johnson expresses very derogatory of this latest Joker: ‘You’d want to squash him like a bug’. ‘Ledger’s Joker launched a million memes, both because of his character and his lines. Phoenix’s Joker will have no such influence. He’s a pathetic nobody with nothing to say’. ‘Arthur [the Joker] is entirely absorbed in self-pity’. ‘Joker is a boring movie about a disgusting loser’.

Well, it didn’t look boring to me… But the commenters on Counter-Currents who opined about Johnson’s review said very similar things: ‘People like him deserve to get left behind by society, and the true tragedy of this movie is that successful, well-adjusted men like Thomas Wayne insist on trying to love the Arthur Flecks of the world and take care of them’. Really? The conservative commenter also said: ‘The defects like Arthur would be put in mental asylums and [eugenically] sterilized’. [1]

Such commenters remind me that, in the movie, Thomas Wayne, the billionaire father of the future Batman, labels those Gotham residents envious of the wealthy as ‘clowns’, not only the Joker. I don’t know how many viewers enjoyed the moment when, by the end of the movie, a rioter corners the Wayne family in an alley and murders Thomas and his wife sparing the child Bruce. Another commenter said: ‘One of the great things about Heath Ledger’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is that he does not have an origin story’.

I dare not judge the Marvel universe as I feel deeply revolted by it. But in the real world, isn’t it good to know, say, the psychopathological motivations of those women in the Charles Manson family? But the commenters’ lack of elemental compassion is even noticeable about the previous Joker represented by Heath Ledger, an actor that incidentally has already passed away. In one of the dialogues the now dead Joker explains his scars. He said that his father ‘comes at me with a knife. “Why so serious?” He sticks a blade in my mouth. “Let’s put a smile on that face”.’

This father strikes me as ‘soul murderer’. Note this other phrase from the CC commenter: ‘Arthur [the Joker who’s alive] is far too damaged for any regular person to identify with him’.

How will a normie commenter identify with him if only one percent (or less) of Westerners have endured schizogenic parents?

Incidentally, last night, as I watched the psychological thriller, there were times when I laughed (as the character does in the film) when the audience was serious and nobody laughed. That happened to me, yesterday, in the climax of the film when the Joker kills the establishment character that Robert de Niro represented.

As I said, I usually don’t go to the movies now. But decades ago the same phenomenon occurred to me with some films by Luis Buñuel, whom I met personally, in which nobody laughed. It also happened to me when I watched Dr. Strangelove by Kubrick on the big screen. I laughed at the black humour in which the nuclear extermination of humanity was at stake while the hundreds of people watching the movie with me were quiet in the theatre. Only when I read a Kubrick biography by Vincent Lobrutto did I find out that Kubrick had a very black sense of humour. Then did I understand me and the non-laugher spectators of Dr. Strangelove!

Joker ends when Arthur laughs and tells a psychiatrist that she would not understand the joke…

_____________

[1] In the comments section on Joker in Counter-Currents Johnson shows how ignorant he is about psychiatry: a supposed branch of medicine with as little scientific basis as parapsychology or the study of UFOs, as shown in my writings (for example: here). Johnson wrote ‘If Arthur is adopted then his mental illness cannot be inherited from this mother’. This is a credulity stance regarding the psychiatric allegations that mental illness is genetic. Apparently, Johnson forgot what I said in one of my articles in which he himself corrected my syntax (see this piece which appears in my Hojas Susurrantes).

Brief definition

I have been receiving some email feedback for my latest anti-psychiatric post and instead of posting this entry on Friday, as I had planned, I’m doing it today. At the beginning of the century, in another language I wrote the below conclusion of an online book:

The thought of [Alexis de] Tocqueville and [John Stuart] Mill provides the conceptual platform for understanding [Kingsley] Davis’s articles and [Michel] Foucault’s study; and it moves me to try a definition of the mental health movement that, in addition to what has been said in previous chapters [not translated for this site], takes into account their observations.

From the point of view of science, and specifically on the basis of the litmus test that distinguishes between science and pseudoscience, psychiatry, a supposed medical specialty, is not a science. The central concept in psychiatry, the entity called mental illness is not defined in biomedical terms but in political terms; and the so-called biological psychiatry has not presented its theories in a testable or falsifiable way: an unmistakable sign of pseudoscience.

From the point of view of politics and law, psychiatry is an organ of society that, from the family, regulates human behaviour. It is a paralegal institution of penalties in democracies. With drug-based technologies it controls deviant individuals: especially those who are either genuinely disturbed or have been abused by their parents. People stigmatised by psychiatry have not broken the law. Through this medical specialty, the System conceals the fact that some parents destroy the mental health of their children. In the case of the sane population, which is considerable—think of the millions of children and adolescents drugged at the initiative of their parents and the school—, the individual initiative is eliminated.

The ultimate truth about this matter is that the System has created an entire profession with the express purpose to blind the whole society to the truth discovered by dissenting psychiatrists: that some parents drive their children mad.

Published in: on March 25, 2019 at 11:36 am  Comments (5)  

How to murder your child’s soul *

* with the help of a psychiatrist

 
In first place, marry a man who super-loves children, someone who’s got grace and charisma with them.

In the second place, you must understand that your child is part of your mind. His thoughts and desires are your private property, part of your heritage. His emergent mentality is a computer and you have the right and duty to program it as you please.

All initiative, natural spontaneity or free will of the child that doesn’t reflect your programming is a symptom of a mental illness, so you must harass him inexorably.

If by reaching puberty your son rebels before your engulfing behaviour, ask help from your husband. Correct him between the two of you. Your husband still has much more physical strength than your son, and if you use your feminine arts to humiliate your son and tease him and your husband giving him tremendous slaps on his little face, much the better. The stronger the super-loving dad hits on his tender heart, the gravest trauma he’ll cause.

The objective is to provoke a bestial confusion of feelings: that the one who showed your son the greatest love as a child is the one who shows him the greatest hate as a teen.

This is the key to murder your child’s soul, and if your husband fails to develop the Jekyll-Hyde syndrome you may not achieve your goals. Remember that nothing undermines more the fragile and developing mind of a teenager who adores his loving dad than these inexplicable changes.

If even with these measures you haven’t reached the inner self of your son to injure it, hire the services of a specialist! A psychiatrist, psychoanalyst or clinical psychologist will do the job.

Your son will go to forced sessions in the Ministry of Love.

Since he’s already mortally wounded by the transformation of his loving dad, you’ll have a golden opportunity precisely in this instant of maxim vulnerability to victimise him again to produce, at last, irreversible psychic injury. If in addition to this you chose a gentleman O’Brien with fame in the media, no one will suspect anything of the drastic step you have taken.

If under treatment in the Ministry of Love your son suffers from panic attacks and develops paranoid delusions (“my mother wants to posses my thoughts”, “my father turns into Mr. Hyde”, “the shrink’s drugs cause akathisia in me”), don’t dare to believe they’re resonances of your splendid education or the medical attack. The therapist will inform you that in no way should parents be blamed for your child’s disorder. On the contrary: the evidence of a biological anomaly in your child is overwhelming. This wise man in doctor’s gown has a Malleus Maleficarum DSM manual where he can easily find the name of his ailment. Once diagnosed, his prescription will be to bombard the brain of the hallucinated bub with the most incisive neuroleptic.

Please make sure he doesn’t get his own way to avoid the chemical lobotomy, lest already grown up he decides to write an autobiography! On the other hand, if your son takes his pills he’ll be left meek as a lamb and he will never be able to say what you, your husband and the therapist did to him.

Then you’ll have once more the adored little child of your dreams, albeit a mentally handicapped one. And remember: you have the Medical Institution, the State and Society itself on your side…
 

______ 卐 ______

 
The parody above is taken from the second chapter of my book. My late sister suffered something similar but she was not the only victim of the family. As I said recently in ‘The eternal feminine’, the details are not to be discussed in this blog. Here I prefer to discuss understandable issues for ‘the eternal masculine’.

It’s a pity that YouTube has deleted a recent video of Richard Spencer that I mentioned in my yesterday comment. Spencer said there that the psychiatrists are over-medicating without being aware, as most of the nationalists do not realise either, that all psychiatric practice is pseudo-scientific.

Although the passage translated above is a dramatisation, when I investigated specific cases of mental disorders I could see that each disturbed individual told stories as horrific as my dramatisation. The model I rely on in my books is simple: major trauma families naturally cause symptoms in children. From the point of view of parsimony, my trauma model contains the least amount of speculative elements.

Psychiatry does exactly the opposite. Unlike neurology that does have biomarkers, psychiatry blames genes or aberrant metabolisms without any proof, as Loren Mosher acknowledged in the bold-typed letters of my yesterday post.

Occam’s razor is the ultimate word in scientific decision-making. It is a rule that has been the cornerstone of the scientific method since it was expressed by William of Occam in the 14th century. It establishes that when we face two or more scientific hypotheses for the same fact, we must adopt the one that contains the least amount of speculative elements. ‘Assumptions should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary’, says Occam’s rule in its current formulation.

Psychiatry violates Occam’s razor. By blaming the body without medical proof, it simply ignores the heartrending testimonies of the victims of enormous abuse at home, as the psychiatrists make their living from what the abusive parents pay them, not their victims.

The English speaker who wants to research mental disorders from the point of view of the trauma model should read John Modrow’s How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry, which contains a long autobiographical section. Incidentally, I used to correspond with Modrow and still have his letters, written in pencil.

Queer generation

Racist folks who have passed away—Robert Mathews, David Lane, Dr. Pierce, Revilo Oliver, Ben Klassen, George Lincoln Rockwell—were tougher than the younger white nationalists of today. They were also far less compromising with the System’s lies than what we see nowadays in the Alt-Right scene. This reminds me an obituary that I wrote on October 16, 2012 and I translate now into English:

Tom Szasz (1920-2012)

I heard that Thomas Szasz died last month, who had a great influence on my thinking while writing the second book of Hojas Susurrantes twelve years ago. After learning about his death I visited YouTube and watched a long lecture by Szasz at his ninetieth birthday.

Although my critical study of psychiatry is now a thing of the past in my life—the race replacement that occurs throughout the West is infinitely more alarming—I had not seen critical material about psychiatry since then. But I used the news about Szasz’s death to watch other anti-psychiatric videos.

I was surprised to discover that Robert Whitaker [not to be confused with the one who coined the mantra], another of the authors mentioned in Hojas Susurrantes, has published a book critical of the profession that became a bestseller. Anatomy of an Epidemic is even influencing the fraudulent profession that we call psychiatry (this is just one of the several didactic videos of Whitaker that I watched following the death of Szasz).

Finally, remembering the trauma model of mental disorders, so central to my Hojas Susurrantes, yesterday, as I continued to refresh myself on the latest news in psychiatry criticism, I saw several interviews with Colin Ross including this one about trauma. (I quote Ross at length in a pivotal chapter in Hojas Susurrantes.)

How interesting was it to learn that it was the elder Szasz the only one in these videos who, at the beginning of the Q&A session, spoke with the right emotional tone—an open and emotional condemnation—that if a child is sent to a psychiatrist, it is because ‘the parents had done something wrong’, not the child!

Ross, on the other hand, the very psychiatrist who coined the term ‘trauma model’ when referring to parents who drive their children mad, spoke sparingly about the parents in the above-linked interview: as if he wanted to soft-pedal his main message, or convey a politically-correct image to a wider audience.

Whitaker, the psychiatry critic with the most momentum because of his bestseller, doesn’t even know that abusive parents are the cause of mental disorders. He even thinks—as orthodox psychiatrists do—that the aetiology of mental distress and disorders ‘could be biological’!

I’ve already said it elsewhere and I’m not afraid to say it again: Psychiatry critics of the first generation of critics, now all dead—Szasz, Lidz, Laing, Miller—were much braver than critics who are still with us—Whitaker, Ross and those scholars who publish in the journal that Breggin founded.

I am writing this post to reassess the critics of the old guard, and especially Szasz, who has left us.

Shine: a dad more devastating than Mengele

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an edited translation (I’ve now added a couple of triple brackets) of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote before my awakening on the JQ:
 

Mental illness in the biological sense is a myth. Yet, it is obvious that madness is not. Madness exists, but it is merely a psychological catastrophe.

Millions have seen this phenomenon on the big screen. The movie Shine is about the life of David Helfgott, who became famous after Geoffrey Rush interpreted his tragic and won an Oscar for best actor. I will sketch his life so flatly that the story’s pathos will be missed.

(((David Helfgott))), a sensible and talented boy for the piano, wasn’t only the eldest son of Peter, but his spiritual heir as well: the unlimited love of Peter insufflated his great music vocation. David, who used to run on the street to embrace his dad when he came back from work, corresponds to such love by consecrating his pianist career to his dad. But Peter did something wicked. He felt humiliated by other Jews in the community and displaced all of his impotence toward his favourite son. The assault to the ego of the boy lasted years. David became a disturbed young man, a ‘schizophrenic’.

This is a case of real life. At the writing of these lines [1999] David Helfgott still lives in Australia and continues to play the piano. However, David is under the care of his wife Gillian since he could never recover. In her biography Love You To Bits and Pieces, the result of years of maternal care of her husband, Gillian testifies that ‘David always believed’ that his father ‘caused his illness’. [1]

In essence, this is what the proponents of the trauma model of madness, Lidz, Laing and Arieti, have been trying to say. They studied parents like Peter instead of treating the brain of the victims of such parents, which is what bioreductionist psychiatrists do.

I would like to mention another case in real life, the boy (((Yakoff Skurnik))). Relying on Yakoff’s testimony, Gene Church wrote 80629: a Mengele experiment.[2]

Yakoff Skurnik survived Birkenau and Auschwitz, where he claims that all his family died and that he became a guinea pig of Josef Mengele. Immobilized by the staff and in Mengele’s presence, a doctor named Doering castrated Yakoff without the proper spinal anaesthesia. Apparently his castrated genitals were photographed by the Russians, but after liberation Yakoff and others were capable to thrive in life.

Yakoff didn’t become mad in a Nazi camp but David did before his abusive dad. How was that possible? Following the Sullivan-Modrow model, in some way the Nazis ran across more difficulties to reach Yakoff’s inner self and injure it than Peter with his son. A passage by Arieti sheds light on these two different cases:

First of all we have to repeat here what we already mentioned […], that conditions of obvious external danger, as in the case of wars, disasters, or other adversities that affect the collectivity [my italics], do not produce the type of anxiety that hurts the inner self and do not themselves favor [insanity]. Even extreme poverty, physical illness, or personal tragedies do not necessarily lead to [insanity] unless they have psychological ramifications that hurt the sense of self. Even homes broken by death, divorce, or desertion may be less destructive than homes where both parents are alive, live together, and always undermine the child’s conception of himself. [3]

Since the victims of a concentration camp are a collectivity, the self of Skurnik or his inmates was not necessarily assaulted; hence they had better chances to survive psychologically than the sole victim of parental abuse, such as Helfgott. Arieti’s passage answers also one of the favourite arguments of bioreductionist psychiatrists in their attempts to refute the trauma model of insanity. For instance, in a critique to his colleagues who believe in the model of trauma, August Piper argues that:

The logic of the claim that childhood trauma causes [insanity] demonstrates a serious final flaw. If the claim were true, the abuse of millions of children over the years should have caused many cases of [insanity]. A case in point: children who endured unspeakable maltreatment in the ghettoes, boxcars, and concentration camps of Nazi Germany. However, no evidence exists that any [become insane] (Bower 1994; Des Pres 1976; Eitinger 1980; Krystal 1991; Sofsky 1997) or that any dissociated or repressed their traumatic memories (Eisen 1988; Wagenaar and Growneweg 1990). Similarly, the same results hold in studies of children who saw a parent murdered (Eth y Pynoos 1994; Malmquist 1986); studies of kidnapped children (Terr 1979; Terr 1983); studies of children known to have been abused (Gold et al. 1994); and in several other investigations (Chudoff 1963; Pynoos y Nader 1989; Strom et al. 1962). Victims neither repressed their traumatic events, forgot about them, nor [become insane]. [4]

The case of Yakoff and his inmates, neither of whom became mad, exemplifies what Piper wanted to say in the above quotation. However, it is clear that Piper has not studied with attention the investigators he criticises. I know personally one of them, Colin Ross, whom I visited on 4 March 1997 in his Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, a mental institution at the north of Dallas. I had written Ross after reading one of his books and he admitted me as a visiting researcher. Ross’ clinic of traumatised people is the only mental institution I have ever stepped in, and although I visited it for only nine hours, in the therapeutic sessions I saw many devastated women by domestic abuse.

Below I quote a passage from the text they give to the newcomer patients:

The problem of attachment to the perpetrator is a term invented by Dr. Ross. It provides a way of understanding the basic conflict in survivors of physical and sexual abuse by parents, relatives, and caretakers. The conflict exists in all of us to some degree, since we all had imperfect parents, but is much more intense and painful in abuse survivors. Ambivalent attachment may not be such a core problem when the perpetrator was not a family member or an important attachment figure [my italics].

The basic driver of [insanity] is simply the kind of people mom and dad were, and what it was like day in and day out in that family.

The focus of therapy is not on the content of memories, processing of memories as such, or any particular thing that happened. This is because the deepest pain and conflict does not come from any one specific event […].

Because children are mammals, they are biologically constructed to attach to their parents […]. There is no decision to make about attachment. Your biology decides for you and it happens automatically. In a halfway normal, regular family this all works out relatively well with the usual neurotic conflicts. The problem faced by many patients is that they did not grow up in a reasonably healthy, normal family. They grew up in an inconsistent, abusive, and traumatic family.

This is the cardinal distinction that biological psychiatrists do not want to acknowledge in their clinical practice: dysfunctional families are very different from schizophrenogenic families.

The very people to whom the child had to attach for survival, were also abuse perpetrators and hurt him or her badly […]. One way to cope with the abuse would be to withdraw, shut down one’s attachment system, and go into a cocoon. This would be psychological suicide, and would cause failure to thrive. Your biology will not let you make this decision—the drive to attachment overrides the withdrawal reflex. You must keep your attachment system up and running in order to survive […].

The basic conflict, the deepest pain, and the deepest source of symptoms, is the fact that mom and dad’s behavior hurts, did not fit together, and did not make sense. It was crazy and abusive. [5]

What Ross says complements what Arieti said: the only person before whom we are really vulnerable is the one with whom we are bonded since children. If the quotation of Piper refers to someone like Yakoff Skurnik, the latter refers to someone like David Helfgott. Ross talks of the abusive relationship of a minor with someone who represents something very special for him or her. The abuses that Piper recounts are not of the kind that Modrow suffered, the sensation of the betrayal of the universe. They are a completely different set of psychological phenomena.

This is one of the problems not only of psychiatry, but also of psychology in general. They want to study ‘objectively’ a subject without realising the existence of an entire universe inside him. It’s not possible to study a mind from the outside as behaviourists do: we need the individual testimonies, the survivors’ autobiographies. Independently of the scholarship of Piper (his paper contains a hundred references), his cases have little to do with a Modrow or a David Helfgott.

The Helfgott case also answers another favourite argument I have heard from other bioreductionist psychiatrists: ‘The question is why one becomes sick and not the other siblings’. If there is something common in the literature of victims, it is that the behaviour of schizophrenogenic parents is directed almost exclusively toward one child, not toward all of his brothers and sisters, just as Peter’s behaviour targeted David, not his other children, and the same can be read in Modrow’s autobiography.

In my comparison between the Jews David and Yakoff, one victimized by his father, the other in a concentration camp, there is something else. The Nazi dynamics toward Yakoff did not constitute a mixture of cruelty and love as was Peter’s attitude toward David—the ‘short circuit’ caused by ‘Jekyll-Hyde’ fluctuations about which I have written, that results in the ambivalent attachment to the perpetrator according to Ross. There is a big difference between being a victim of camp guards, who appeared in Yakoff’s mind as aliens, and being a victim of he who, with all of his love, formed the universe of the child David. In the words of David himself to his wife:

It’s all daddy’s fault. It’s all daddy’s fault […]. ’Cause father had a sort of a devil in him, and an angel in him, and all my life was like that. Dad always had a devil and an angel all his life. It’s a sort of a dichotomy, a split of scale. [6]

‘Father’ doesn’t seem to be the same ‘dad’ in David’s disturbed mind. That this dichotomy produces split personalities was precisely what I observed in the Dallas female patients (in the Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma almost all inmates for multiple personalities were women).

Resiliency is the capability of a strained object to recover its size and shape after stress. In elastics for instance the capability of resilience has a limit: if the elastic is extended beyond its breaking point it will break and won’t recover its original form. Using this analogy I would say that the Nazi abuses Yakoff was subjected lied within the ‘resiliency’ limit of his mind. It was not so with David’s Jewish daddy. The abuses he was subjected went beyond the breaking point and he suffered a permanent psychotic breakdown.

To sum up, the criterion to measure the level of trauma should be the breakdown that the abuse causes, not the abuse itself. A father who loves his Jewish son can break him better than a Nazi who does not like the Jewish prisoners. The breakdown of David’s mind occurred because relatively Peter’s atrocity was greater than that of the Nazi who castrated Yakoff. It came from the one on earth whom the abuse should never have come from: the one who formed his soul.

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[1] Love you to bits and pieces (Penguin Books, 1996), p. 268.

[2] Gene Church, 80629: a Mengele experiment (Route 66 Publishing, 1996).

[3] Interpretation of schizophrenia (op. cit.), p. 197. I substituted the word ‘schizophrenia’ for ‘insanity’ in the brackets—see the next note.

[4] August Piper Jr., ‘Multiple personality disorder: witchcraft survives in the twentieth century’ in Skeptical Inquirer (May/June 1998). Piper’s critique doesn’t refer to general madness but to so-called ‘multiple personality’. Yet, the substitution of psychiatric terms I have done in these quotations is pertinent. Ross himself told me that it is very common that psychiatrists become confused and diagnose as ‘schizophrenics’ those with ‘multiple personality’ and vice versa. The point is that, since I don’t believe in a formal system of categories (as is the DSM), I’m not obliged to make these distinctions. I prefer to include all psychoses within the vernacular word ‘insanity’ as I did with my brackets instead of the textual ‘MPD’ (multiple personality disorder).

John Modrow’s words are conclusive in this respect: ‘Since no clear-cut distinctions can be drawn between schizophrenia and a number of other psychiatric syndromes, such labels as schizophrenia, paranoia, manic-depression, and so forth, are mere artificial abstractions obscuring the unitary nature of madness. Indeed, I would go even further than that: the madness-sanity dichotomy is itself a mere artificial convention obscuring the fundamental unity of the human mind’ (How to become a schizophrenic, op. cit.), p. 238.

[5] Dissociative disorders program: patient information packet (Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, undated).

[6] The two passages separated by the bracket come from Love you to bits and pieces (op. cit.), pp. 42 & 104.

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